After having a fabulous time in Murren and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, we headed to Montreux on Lake Geneva. Montreux lies on the north east shore of Lake Geneva – a gorgeous location with it’s sparkling alpine lake and breathtaking views. We stayed in a funky hotel called the Tralala in the old town, which is up the hill about ten minutes from the lake. Since Montreux is the home of the famous Montreux Jazz Festival, our hotel displayed larger-than-life pictures and murals of famous performers on the walls and played a wide variety of music in the hallways until bedtime. Our room was blessed with a huge picture of David Bowie. Not quite who I am used to waking up with but the character of the hotel made our stay all that more fun.
We arrived by train late in the afternoon and were able to walk to our hotel with our bags in tow. The old town has a bunch of curvy roads but my iPhone was able to get us there with a few unplanned detours. Once checked in, we dropped our bags in the room and headed down to the lake for a pre-dinner stroll around town. Down by the lake, we discovered that there was a nice walkway along the lakefront that was lined with flowers, trees and plants from all over the world. In the distance, we could see the Chateau de Chillon, which was on our itinerary for the next day.
We went from speaking German in the Berner Oberland to speaking French in Montreux. Language were not a significant barrier in Montreux. We had a French dinner the first night at a small restaurant on a dimly lit street in the old town area. It was run by a nice lady that spoke no English. A few carefully selected hand gestures and smiles all around made us feel very welcome. The dinner was fabulous and we felt like we were a part of the neighborhood that night, which is always a treat when we travel internationally.
One of the main attractions in Montreux besides the Jazz Festival is the Chateau de Chillon. We reached the Chateau via a pleasant 40-minute walk along the lake. Donna an I really enjoyed walking Montreux. It looked like many others were enjoying it as well. People of all shapes, sizes and nationalities were strolling with us living up the views and pleasant weather. During our walk to the Chateau, we admired the steep hillsides surrounding the lake, which were peppered with hotels and houses sporting fanciful Parisian architecture. Montreaux is a relaxing place to visit and the Chateau is worth the visit alone.
In total, we spent three nights in Montreux, which was just right in my opinion. One of the days we took an excursion on the Chocolate Train. The Chocolate Train is a scenic day trip from Montreux to the Nestle Factory, the Gruyere cheese factory and the Castle of Gruyères.
To be honest, I am on the fence about the Chocolate Train. The scenery is great and the visit to the castle is well worthwhile but the trips to the factories are more for carting tourist wallets to the shops at the end of the tour.
Other posts related to this trip to Switzerland
- Montreux to Bellagio – Switzerland Itinerary
- Murren to Montreux – Switzerland Itinerary
- Bern to Murren – Switzerland Itinerary
- Train to Bern – Switzerland Itinerary
- Switzerland Itinerary – Part 1 – Getting Ready
- Ballenberg Museum: Swiss Chalet
- Travel Photo: Swiss Barn on the Blumental Trail
- Lauterbrunnen Valley – Exposure Blending to Capture the Scene
- Travel Photo: Bern Row Houses
- Rainy Day Swiss Chalet
- Grindelwald View from Männlichen
- A Stroll in Montreux on Lake Geneva
- Tough Choices at Bern’s Münster
- The Olive Press
- The Jungfrau region of Switzerland
- Picture Perfect Barn at Ballenberg Open Air Museum
- Castle of Chillon: Chateau de Chillon
- Awestruck in the Lauterbrunnen Valley
- Bern parliament building by day and night